Catalysis of Ester Reactions by Ionic Resins


Alfa Chemistry provides you with ester reaction design services, including esterification, transesterification and ester hydrolysis reactions. Carboxylic acid esters synthesized by esterification reaction can be used as plasticizers, solvents, perfumes, pharmaceutical precursors, agricultural chemicals, etc. We use ionic resin as a catalyst. Our services range from laboratory dosage to industrial grade. We can also provide customized ester reactive ion resin catalysts to help you develop new types of catalysts.


The ester reaction is an important organic reaction. The traditional catalyst is concentrated sulfuric acid, which is not only highly corrosive, but also has a complicated follow-up treatment process and pollutes the environment. Ion exchange resins are insoluble in water, acids and alkalis. The functional group is located inside the resin, which can avoid contact with the reactor wall, and the separation operation is simple. also. Ionic resin can be reused, recycled and regenerated, which helps reduce costs and improve economic benefits. Therefore, as a new type of environmentally friendly green catalyst, ion exchange resin is more and more widely used in the esterification reaction process.In addition to the ionic resin itself can be used as a catalyst, it can also be used for the esterification reaction in the form of a synthetic catalyst by supporting a common catalyst on the ionic resin.

(a)Complexing reaction between ion exchange resin and ZnCl2;(b)UV-Vis spectra ;(c)FT-IR spectra;(d)SEM images;(1) refers to ion exchange resin,(2)refers to ZnCl2-modified resin.Fig.1 (a)Complexing reaction between ion exchange resin and ZnCl2;(b)UV-Vis spectra ;(c)FT-IR spectra;(d)SEM images;(1) refers to ion exchange resin,(2)refers to ZnCl2-modified resin.(Zhang F, et al., 2010)

Cation exchange resin esterification reaction

The acidic groups in the cation exchange resin can dissociate hydrogen ions, and can act as an inorganic acid to become an acid catalyst. Therefore, cation exchange resin can replace the esterification reaction catalyzed by H2SO4 or HCl.The cation exchange resin was used to catalyze the esterification reaction of valeric acid and methanol, and the mass transfer effect was found to be negligible. The modified cation exchange resin has higher catalytic activity. For example, metal ions are loaded on a strong acid cation exchange resin to catalyze the synthesis of ethyl acetate. The acid center is not easily deactivated.

Anion exchange resin esterification reaction

Anion exchange resins are generally used in the form of synthesis catalysts. Compared with gel type anionic resin, macroporous resin has lower catalytic activation energy and better catalytic effect. Anion exchange resin can also be used as a solid base catalyst to replace NaOH to produce biodiesel fuel (fatty acid ester).

Alfa Chemistry designs professional synthetic routes for your esterification reactions. The conversion rate of the products obtained by our synthesis process can be higher than 90%, and the by-products are few, and the separation steps are simple. We will regularly invite experts in the field of organic synthesis to train our employees to enhance their professional knowledge. Our customers can directly contact our experts and provide timely feedback on any online inquiries. If you are interested in our services, please contact us.


  1. Zhang F, et al. Preparation of ZnCl2-Modified Ion Exchange Resin and Its Catalytic Activity for Esterification of Ethanol and Acetic Acid under Microwave[J]. Chinese Journal of Catalysis, 2010.

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